Reports & Forecasts: Nov 2013

Lake Calcasieu Louisiana
Jeff and Mary Poe | Big Lake Guide Service | 337.598.3268
In November, salinities might be somewhat lower than the previous few years. High salinities are not as important during November as they are during the trout spawning season. You should find fish as far north in the estuary as the clear water extends. Lake Charles, Prien Lake, Moss Lake and the Calcasieu Ship Channel will hold fish in very low salinities. Don't let the coffee- colored clear water scare you. Soft plastic jigs like Lil' Johns and H&H Salty Grubs and Beetles in glow, opening night, chartreuse and avocado colors are all good at this time of the year. Slow sinking twitch baits such as Fat Boys and MirrOdines work well when targeting larger trout. Topwater lures will be the first choice on certain days. Redfish will be all over the estuary. If you are looking to fish the weirs on the south end of the lake, they will be closed for duck season, beginning on November 9th. Flounder will be making their run back to the Gulf this month. The best areas to fish for flounder lie along the channel in Cameron. Best baits are live, small fish.

Trinity Bay - East Bay - Galveston Bay | James Plaag
Silver King Adventures | | 409.935.7242
According to James, fishing hasn't changed much since the middle of summer. "We're still slammin' 'em pretty good. Fishing most every day and catching limits almost all the time. Our best bite is out in the middle, around well pads, humps and reefs. We're keying on slicks to find the fish. We are using soft plastics like Bass Assassin Sea Shads, but we've had a great topwater bite out of the boat too. The louder lures are working better, particularly the chrome/blue SheDogs. I've done okay on a white TopDog too, but the SheDog is the ticket lately. Once November rolls around, all these fish will move toward the shorelines and shallower water. We'll do a lot more wading then, and we'll throw Corkies and Catch 5s quite a bit more. Things are shaping up good for a strong fall run. The birds haven't really started working yet, but it's been wet enough for us to have a good shrimp crop, so the flocks should start showing us where the fish are on a regular basis once a few more cold fronts pass through."

Jimmy West | Bolivar Guide Service | 409.996.3054
Jim has been doing some dove hunting and some fishing lately. Come November, he'll be hunting the ducks instead of the doves. "Fishing has been okay, nothing spectacular. There are plenty of reds up in the shallow parts of the marsh. Once the weather cools down some more, we will probably find more trout in there with them. On the cooler days, with lower tides, the bayous and drains leading into the marshes usually fill up with fish. When the tide is dumping out, shoreline areas in the vicinity of the marsh drains can be outstanding in November. Lately, I've been fishing mostly out of the boat, throwing topwaters and tails in about four or five feet of water. I'll be looking to fish shallower as the fall season gets going a little stronger though. Usually, wading is great in November. We are just starting to see a few birds working, but by the time this report is printed, they should be working on a daily basis. When the gulls are picking, it's possible to catch easy limits by chasing them. Bigger trout are usually biting on the shorelines too."

West Galveston - Bastrop - Christmas - Chocolate Bays
Randall Groves | Groves Guide Service
979.849.7019 | 979.864.9323
Randall reports good trout fishing lately in his area. "The fish are holding over a mostly mud bottom, so we are having to cover lots of water to find them, since they aren't really relating to any kind of structure. Best bite has been on chicken on a chain Norton Sand Eels, the big ones, rigged on three eighth ounce heads. The shrimp are just starting to move and the birds are working a little bit. That whole deal should be in full swing by November. Limits should become easier to get then. We'll also start fishing the deeper open areas, targeting places with scattered shell on the bottom next month, when the birds aren't working. Right now, these high tides have the redfish up in the cord grass. They are eating lots of little white snails; I've also pulled a toad and a rat from their bellies. Once some stronger fronts arrive, the tide will go out, and we'll have better luck catching the reds again. Prospects overall are good for both species. It's a great month to be out on the water!"

Matagorda | Charlie Paradoski
Bay Guide Service | 713.725.2401
Charlie says the slightly wetter conditions this year have led to the return of some familiar and productive patterns in the Matagorda area. "Since we have gotten some rain, the shrimp crop is much better than it has been in recent years. We are starting to see some shrimp jumping around in the middle of the bay, and there are already signs of birds working too. Haven't seen these things much over the last few years with the persistent drought. Another encouraging thing is people are catching fish wading; there are fish on the shorelines. November is usually one of the best months to catch fish around here. We'll be throwing a lot of Bass Assassins and MirrOlures. Trying topwaters too; when they work, they work, when they don't they don't. If we get some stable weather, fishing will be great this month. We are catching limits of trout steadily right now, in fact. Today, we were finished by eight-thirty. I'll be anticipating more productive days in November. It looks like we are set up for a good run."

Palacios | Capt. Aaron Wollam | 979.240.8204
Enormous tides and cooler water temperatures have made for some great fishing in the area. Back lakes have been loaded with mullet and shrimp, and the fish are right there with the bait. Redfishing has been nothing short of incredible. The size of the reds has been amazing; almost every trip we catch a red over thirty inches, with a few bruisers pushing the forty inch mark. We have been catching the reds on topwaters, Gulp! lures suspended under corks, and live shrimp. The big tides have the fish holding tight to the shorelines running bait, and limits have been coming pretty easy. We are still catching a few trout at the wrecks and rigs out in the bay freelining live-bait, but have also noted that the fish are starting to move over structures closer to the shorelines. November should be awesome with all the rains we've had. We have lots of bait in the bays right now, and these rains will do nothing but help the bays. As always in the cooler months, finding the bait is the key to finding the fish.

Port O'Connor | Lynn Smith | Back Bay Guide Service | 361.983.4434
Lynn expects to be chasing redfish along area shorelines in November. He also expects trout fishing to pick up. "The reds should be bunching up and moving along shallow shorelines this month. We've been having steady action on them lately. Trout bite has been kind of slow lately, but the action usually perks up after the transition time we're in right now. I'll be throwing the new Down South lures. The watermelon and the cotton candy colors have been producing well. We've also had a good bite on topwaters, mostly Super Spook Juniors in the clown color and the white with chartreuse head. We're fishing mostly around sand and grass, and that will be the preferred pattern until the weather cools down quite a bit more. We have tons of bait in the area right now, and I expect the trout bite to perk right up once we get a few more fronts. In the latter half of next month, I will probably be starting to fish more of a cold weather pattern, meaning I'll be preferring areas with a muddy bottom on flats with close access to deep water."

Rockport | Blake Muirhead
Gator Trout Guide Service | 361.790.5203 or 361.441.3894
Blake expects to start splitting time between the blinds and the flats this month. "Cast and blast season cranks up in November. I expect we'll have good duck hunting. We've had enough rain lately to fill some of the ponds in the marshes, and there's a decent amount of grass growing on the bottom, so the ducks will have food and water. I'll be running the air boat and hunting early once the season starts. Then, I'll fish my way out of the marshes when the shooting is over. Lately, with these high tides, we've been catching fish best on the reefs. The shoreline bite has just started to pick back up a little. Normally, when stronger fronts arrive and cool the water temperatures down some, they also drive the tide back out and the fishing gets better. Shorelines adjacent to the drains leading into the marshes should be good. I'll key on areas with a grassy bottom and fish about crotch to waist-deep. I'll be throwing Super Spooks with chrome on them some, as long as the fish are blowing up. Mostly, I'll be throwing Gulp! lures and Sand Eels."

Upper Laguna Madre - Baffin Bay - Land Cut
Robert Zapata | [email protected] | 361.563.1160
We have had some rainfall in the Upper Laguna Madre, but not enough. Much of the Laguna and Baffin Bay are still affected by brown tide, making water clarity poor. This has made it tough for local anglers to find and catch fish on some days. People planning a trip to Baffin Bay will need to fish with live shrimp or piggy perch under a float or something smelly, and/or noisy. Bass Assassins with BANG and Berkley Gulp! products are effective, smelly baits that can be fished on a jighead or under a float. I like the oval Bass Assassin Kwik Corks. MirrOlure Catch 5s in bright, flashy colors like CHBL are attractive, noisy lures that I will also be fishing with, in water depths of three to four feet. When fishing in water not tainted with brown algae, I'll be fishing with eighth ounce, screw lock jigheads rigged with Assassin Die Dappers in colors like salt & pepper, silver phantom/chartreuse, sand trout and chartreuse dog. I'll be fishing along the edges of deeper channels early and moving up into shallower water as the day progresses.

Corpus Christi | Joe Mendez | 361.937.5961
Joe has been having fun chasing oversized reds on recent charters, and he expects the action to continue through the autumn months. "We are catching a bunch of big reds right now. The last couple of trips, all the customers have used their trophy tags. Mostly, we're catching them on spoons and soft plastics. The key is finding the schools by riding around, either seeing them as they make wakes if it's calm, or locating them by seeing the schools themselves if it's windy enough to see into the water. I'll probably be continuing to work this drill as the weather cools down some more, staying mostly in areas close around the JFK, where the water continues to be clear almost all of the time. We've got a big migration going on right now; there's lots of bait in the area from about Bird Island to the Causeway. We should have steady fishing on the flats for a while, at least until some strong cold fronts blow most of the water out of the bay. Once that happens,I'll probably start focusing my efforts more along the channel edges again."

Padre Island National Seashore
Billy Sandifer | Padre Island Safaris | 361.937.8446
The two biggest tiger sharks we ever caught; 820 and 746 pounds, were both landed in early November. There is a tremendous amount of food chain activity in November, the trick is whether we get any days that allow us to take advantage. Generally speaking, northers and sargassum shut us out many days but, since it has shut us out all year maybe it will relent in November. Bottom fishermen will revel in ice chests full of pompano and whiting. Peeled-fresh shrimp and "Fishbites" for the pompano; whiting love live and cut finger mullet. A wide array of artificials will work for jack crevalle, tarpon, Spanish mackerel and Atlantic bluefish. Finger mullet migration will be in full swing. Pick out the areas of peak mullet abundance - the birds lead you to fish. It is imperative to pick days between cold frontal passages with the second day behind a front being the most user-friendly. Beware of tides. Northeast and north wind will push tides to the dune line and leave you no beach to travel on.

Port Mansfield | Ruben Garza 832.385.1431
Getaway Adventures Lodge 956.944.4000
This past month we had north winds and rain from a Category 1 hurricane that hit northern Mexico. Before all of this appeared our fishing was on fire, good morning bite with limits of solid trout and reds. We were fishing when the first rain cell hit and they went insane; every cast produced a trout or redfish. Just like someone throwing a switch, they shut off entirely when the front arrived. Since then, the bite has improved with lots of fish being caught, tons of juveniles with enough keeper trout is now the norm. The bone Baby Skitterwalk and gold spoons have been effective lures. I have noticed reds starting to run through the East Cut. So if you have a chance, make an attempt to fish the Cut and jetties. Reports say tarpon, bull reds, jack crevalle and Spanish mackerel are numerous in that area. November is a great month to fish, with cooler water and pleasant air temperatures, which make fishing all across our bay system comfortable and enjoyable. Tight lines and calm seas!

Lower Laguna Madre - South Padre - Port Isabel
Janie and Fred Petty | | 956.943.2747
Our catches have been good, but the fish are pretty localized, making it difficult to stay on them for more than a drift or two. The west side of the LLM is holding the majority of the freshwater dumped by recent rains, so,conditions have been less than ideal. Freddy says, "When the water is brackish, you will have better luck by lengthening your leader, because trout prefer the heavier, saltier water near the bottom." We're limiting on slot reds most trips, and catching some very nice trophy trout, but the limits of keeper trout have slowed down considerably. The round Cajun Thunder corks are working best, with leaders anywhere from 12 inches to 20 inches, depending on water depth. We always use braided line, which is superior for popping corks, but can be rough on reels. Quarter ounce jigheads with Berkley Gulp! Three inch shrimp continue to be the most effective baits. We have seen the difference in water clarity and regrowth of essential bay grasses when we have even one winter without open bay dredge disposal in our immediate area.